John 3:16-17: Romans 5:8
This story is one of many inspirational fiction writings from the pen of Russell Kelfer who was an elder and Bible teacher at Wayside Chapel in San Antonio, Texas until his death in 2000.
Edith Burns was a wonderful Christian who lived in San Antonio,
Texas. She was the patient of a doctor by the name of Will
Phillips. Dr. Phillips was a gentle doctor who saw patients as
people. His favorite patient was Edith Burns.
One morning he went to his office with a heavy heart and it was
because of Edith Burns. When he walked into that waiting room,
there sat Edith with her big black Bible in her lap earnestly
talking to a young mother sitting beside her.
Edith Burns had a habit of introducing herself in this way:
"Hello, my name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?" Then
she would explain the meaning of Easter, and many times people
would be saved.
Dr. Phillips walked into that office and there he saw the head
nurse, Beverly. Beverly had first met Edith when she was taking
her blood pressure. Edith began by saying, "My name is Edith
Burns. Do you believe in Easter?"
Beverly said, "Why, yes, I do."
Edith said, "Well, what do you believe about Easter?"
Beverly said, "Well, it's all about egg hunts, going to church, and
Edith kept pressing her about the real meaning of Easter, and
finally led her to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Phillips said, "Beverly, don't call Edith into the office quite
yet. I believe there is another delivery taking place in the
After being called back in the doctor's office, Edith sat down, and
when she took a look at the doctor she said, "Dr. Will, why are you
so sad? Are you reading your Bible? Are you praying?"
Dr. Phillips said gently, "Edith, I'm the doctor and you're the
patient." With a heavy heart he said, "Your lab report came back
and it says you have cancer, and Edith, you're not going to live very long."
Edith said, "Why Will Phillips, shame on you. Why are you so sad?
Do you think God makes mistakes? You have just told me I'm going
to see my precious Lord Jesus, my husband, and my friends. You
have just told me that I am going to celebrate Easter forever, and
here you are having difficulty giving me my ticket!"
Dr. Phillips thought to himself, "What a magnificent woman this
Edith Burns is!"
Edith continued coming to Dr. Phillips. Christmas came and the
office was closed through January 3rd. On the day the office
opened, Edith did not show up.
Later that afternoon, Edith called Dr. Phillips and said she would
have to be moving her story to the hospital and said, "Will, I'm
very near home, so would you make sure that they put women in here
next to me in my room who need to know about Easter."
Well, they did just that, and women began to come in and share that
room with Edith. Many women were saved. Everybody on that floor
from staff to patients were so excited about Edith that they
started calling her Edith Easter; that is, everyone except Phyllis
Cross, the head nurse.
Phyllis made it plain that she wanted nothing to do with Edith
because she was a "religious nut". She had been a nurse in an army
hospital. She had seen it all and heard it all. She was the
original G.I. Jane. She had been married three times, she was
hard, cold, and did everything by the book.
One morning the two nurses who were to attend to Edith were sick.
Edith had the flu and Phyllis Cross had to go in and give her a shot.
When she walked in, Edith had a big smile on her face and said,
"Phyllis, God loves you and I love you, and I have been praying for you."
Phyllis Cross said, "Well, you can quit praying for me. It won't
work and I'm not interested."
Edith said, "Well, I will pray and I have asked God not to let me
go home until you come into the family."
Phyllis Cross said, "Then you will never die because that will
never happen," and curtly walked out of the room.
Every day Phyllis Cross would walk into the room and Edith would
say, "God loves you, Phyllis, and I love you, and I'm praying for you."
One day Phyllis Cross said she was literally drawn to Edith's room
like a magnet would draw iron. She sat down on the bed and Edith
said, "I'm so glad you have come, because God told me that today is
your special day."
Phyllis Cross said, "Edith, you have asked everybody here the
question, 'Do you believe in Easter?', but you have never asked me."
Edith said, "Phyllis, I wanted to many times, but God told me to
wait until you asked, and now that you have asked ."
Edith Burns took her Bible and shared with Phyllis Cross the Easter
Story of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Edith said, "Phyllis, do you believe in Easter? Do you believe
that Jesus Christ is alive and that He wants to live in your heart?"
Phyllis Cross said, "Oh, I want to believe that with all of my
heart, and I do want Jesus in my life." Right there, Phyllis Cross
prayed and invited Jesus Christ into her heart. For the first time
Phyllis Cross did not walk out of a hospital room, she was carried
out on the wings of angels.
Two days later, Phyllis Cross came in and Edith said, "Do you know
what day it is?"
Phyllis Cross said, "Why Edith, it's Good Friday."
Edith said, "Oh, no, for you every day is Easter. Happy Easter,
Two days later, on Easter Sunday, Phyllis Cross came into work, did
some of her duties, and then went down to the flower shop and got
some Easter lilies, because she wanted to go up to see Edith, give
her some Easter lilies, and wish her a Happy Easter.
When she walked into Edith's room, Edith was in bed. That big
black Bible was on her lap. Her hands were in that Bible. There
was a sweet smile on her face. When Phyllis Cross went to pick up
Edith's hand, she realized Edith was dead. Her left hand was on
"In my Father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place
for you. I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I
am, there you may be also."
Her right hand was on Revelation 21:4:
"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there shall be
no more death nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more
pain, for the former things have passed away."
Phyllis Cross took one look at that dead body, and then lifted her
face toward heaven, and with tears streaming down her cheeks said,
"Happy Easter, Edith --- Happy Easter!"
Phyllis Cross left Edith's body, walked out of the room and over to
a table where two student nurses were sitting.
She said, "My name is Phyllis Cross. Do you believe in Easter?"